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Spinal Stenosis and Surgery

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Unread 10-27-2012, 11:37 PM   #1
doccarolyn
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Default Spinal Stenosis and Surgery

Hi everyone,
my name is Carolyn and I am new to this forum, I have spinal stenosis at L4and L5- with severe degenerative disc disease. I am on pain meds, nerve meds, etc and my doctor at least one or saying the stenosis is getting worse and I need surgery- of course he is a surgeon- my concern has anyone had successful decompression and laminectomy - all I hear are horror stories and I'm terrified- I have a Ph.D in psychology, one would think I could deal with my own anxiety, but it is really hard- has anyone had successful lumbar surgeries- also is anyone from the Los Angeles area- would like to connect with someone in regards to doctors etc- I enjoy this forum,
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Unread 10-28-2012, 05:02 AM   #2
Dr. Smith
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Hi Carolyn, Welcome.

Yes, people do have successful laminectomies. You may not hear a lot about them online because those folks are out there getting on with their lives, and have little/no need of support groups.

Quote:
Following a laminectomy, approximately 70% to 80% of patients will have significant improvement in their function (ability to perform normal daily activities) and a markedly reduced level of pain and discomfort associated with spinal stenosis.
http://www.spine-health.com/treatmen...-success-rates
Also, try googling: successful decompression laminectomy

Doc
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Unread 10-28-2012, 05:39 AM   #3
dakota67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doccarolyn View Post
Hi everyone,
my name is Carolyn and I am new to this forum, I have spinal stenosis at L4and L5- with severe degenerative disc disease. I am on pain meds, nerve meds, etc and my doctor at least one or saying the stenosis is getting worse and I need surgery- of course he is a surgeon- my concern has anyone had successful decompression and laminectomy - all I hear are horror stories and I'm terrified- I have a Ph.D in psychology, one would think I could deal with my own anxiety, but it is really hard- has anyone had successful lumbar surgeries- also is anyone from the Los Angeles area- would like to connect with someone in regards to doctors etc- I enjoy this forum,
Hi Carolyn,
I just had a thoracic laminectomy--too early to tell yet, but get very educated on the seriousness of the surgery, and make sure you give yourself 8 weeks to recover. I had 3 areas worked on, mid back thoracic, and the pain is daily almost one month later. I had no clue just how invasive it would be, and wish I would have gotten all the facts upfront with recovery etc...
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Unread 10-28-2012, 12:32 PM   #4
ginnie
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Default Hi Carolyn

Welcome to Neuro Talk. Glad you found the site. Even a doctor PHD can become frightened when facing this kind of surgery. Yes successful surgery can and does happen. Get your second opinion before agreeing to the surgery OK? None of it is fun, but it does turn out OK in many cases. I am fused C3-7 with degenerative disk disease as well, I am OK. I wish you all the best. ginnie
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Unread 10-28-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
Leesa
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Yes, I've had 2 OPEN laminectomies, and if I had to do it over again, I would NOT go thru with it. I'm worse now than I was to begin with.

You must remember that surgery is NOT FOR PAIN. Surgery is ONLY for mechanical problems. Most of the time you're left with the same pain or worse. Also, the levels above and below the surgery site will fail, because they have to take on more of the load -- so eventually you will need more surgery. That's what happened to me. After the first surgery on L4-5, L3-4 failed. Then after the surgery on L3-4, L2-3 failed. And so on. I also have severe degenerative disc disease, along with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, so I cannot have any more surgery. No doctor will even touch me anymore -- not even the HEADS of Neurosurgery in large hospitals.

Unless the spinal stenosis is to the point where you're in danger of permanent nerve damage, i think I would opt for physical therpy INSTEAD of surgery at this point. Studies have shown that people who have had surgery get the SAME RESULTS as those who have had physical therapy!!! And physical therapy is NOT invasive, so that's what i'd opt for, for sure!!! And it wouldn't put you in danger of needing further surgery.

I wish you the very best. Please let us know how you come out, will you please? We really DO care!! God bless & please take care. Hugs, Lee
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Unread 11-12-2012, 05:07 AM   #6
flavioarg
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Default Is it laminectomy or laminotomy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by doccarolyn View Post
Hi everyone,
my name is Carolyn and I am new to this forum, I have spinal stenosis at L4and L5- with severe degenerative disc disease. I am on pain meds, nerve meds, etc and my doctor at least one or saying the stenosis is getting worse and I need surgery- of course he is a surgeon- my concern has anyone had successful decompression and laminectomy - all I hear are horror stories and I'm terrified- I have a Ph.D in psychology, one would think I could deal with my own anxiety, but it is really hard- has anyone had successful lumbar surgeries- also is anyone from the Los Angeles area- would like to connect with someone in regards to doctors etc- I enjoy this forum,
In this thread reference is made to laminectomy as the surgery for decompression but in my possibly wrong understanding laminectomy is not a techniquee largerly applied in these days.
Laminotomy seems to be the approach mostly use for spinal decompression these days. I have the same problem of Carolyn and I would appreciate some experience on laminotomy a much less damaging technique. Could anyone help me on this?
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Unread 11-12-2012, 01:37 PM   #7
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In that case, I would just substitute laminoctomy for laminectomy in the above search criteria. Doing that still yields many hits for laminectomy.

Doc
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Unread 11-12-2012, 11:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Smith View Post
In that case, I would just substitute laminoctomy for laminectomy in the above search criteria. Doing that still yields many hits for laminectomy.

Doc
The difference is that a laminectomy removes the vertebral arch and creates a potential issue of relative sagittal hypermobility/instability whereas a laminotomy preserves the integrity of the facets and neural arch as much as is possible (ligamentum flavum and midline ligaments) thereby enhancing stability, at least in theory! But combined with a fusion, it is all moot. Every case is unique.
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Unread 12-15-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
dmk46
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Default Your surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by doccarolyn View Post
Hi everyone,
my name is Carolyn and I am new to this forum, I have spinal stenosis at L4and L5- with severe degenerative disc disease. I am on pain meds, nerve meds, etc and my doctor at least one or saying the stenosis is getting worse and I need surgery- of course he is a surgeon- my concern has anyone had successful decompression and laminectomy - all I hear are horror stories and I'm terrified- I have a Ph.D in psychology, one would think I could deal with my own anxiety, but it is really hard- has anyone had successful lumbar surgeries- also is anyone from the Los Angeles area- would like to connect with someone in regards to doctors etc- I enjoy this forum,
Hi Carolyn,
I was also scared to death and put it off until it was almost too late. If there are 3 discs in trouble this hospital wouldn't do the surgery but they did. First year or two was tough but after that things got better than much better. I had an L4 L5 fusion and he had to fix scoleosis; so I guess they rolled me over after they had lunch. Things were ok until I hit the 9 year mark and things started to go down hill; but you really have no choice. The pain gets so unbelievably bad you're dying to jump on that table. Do your homework and find the best....the very best. Are you allowed to mention Dr.s here?
Dave
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Unread 12-16-2012, 01:03 AM   #10
bmatz25
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Kind of in the same boat as you are on do NOT have the PhD. LOL. I have been dealing with my back for nearly 15 years and am just waiting for a new date for my surgery. I am having a decompression lumbar laminectomy with spinal fusion L4- Sacrum using pedicle screws and rods. I got myself very worried by watching too many videos of this procedure on Youtube. Not my best move. I have such pain, even with the pain meds, that I am anxious to get this done. I just tell myself that if it NEVER worked, they would not continue to do this procedure. It has percentages of success rates online and they surprised me as to how high they were. Just keep a positive mind frame and Im sure with the right surgeon, you will have relief from your pain to some extent. Good Luck,
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